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FlirtationsRhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction$
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Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, Barbara Natalie Nagel, and Lauren Shizuko Stone

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264896

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264896.001.0001

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Doing it as the Beasts Did

Doing it as the Beasts Did

Intertextuality as Flirtation in Gradiva

(p.136) Doing it as the Beasts Did

Barbara Natalie Nagel

Fordham University Press

This chapter presents a response to Jacques Lezra’s contribution “ Bestiality: Mediation More Ferarum.” In Lezra’s reading of Gradiva, flirtation is characterized by “the apparent immediacy and apparent circumstantiality of our passing glance.” The chapter considers this “circumstantiality” and how it relates to the animal figures in Gradiva because flirtation is not so much about the drive as about the tempering and the restraint of the drive. It takes up Lezra’s hypothesis that animals function as instances of mediation and tries to push this claim by introducing examples in which animals in Gradiva work as instances not only of mediation but of double mediation. Lezra showed that in Jensen’s novella our desire goes through the animal; this chapter shows that the animal’s desire also goes through the animal. More concretely, Jensen’s animals invoke animals from other literary texts; they function as moments of intertextuality.

Keywords:   flirtation, Jacques Lezra, Willem Jensen, Gradiva, passing glance, animals, mediation, intertextuality

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